TeamRush Ignition Upgrade

TeamRush Ignition Upgrade
I have completed the initial stage of this mod on my 86 CJ and it made a heck of a difference. It runs smoother, starts better, and is overall a much better driving Jeep. So far all I have done is install the larger Ford cap from a 300 six, a set of wires, and plugs. I used stock Autolite plugs gapped at .042 and I get good coverage of the center electrode by the ground stap.

Next for me is the nutter bypass and an MC 2100 carb.
 






I finally upgraded my ignition. Actually I did it a week ago. I decided to go with the TeamRush upgrade. I'm glad I did. It consists of upgrading the distributor cap and spark plug wires. This upgrade makes sure the spark energy goes where it is intended, to the spark plugs. With the smaller OEM distributor it is possible to get cross fire in the distributor where a spark goes to the wrong cylinder or a spark going down to a ground. Once the distributor was upgraded I installed a MSD series 6 ignition module. DO NOT install a high performance ignition module without upgrading the distributor. The OEM distributor has a hard enough time getting the spark to the correct spark plug.




Coil
Replacing the coil is optional. The TeamRush upgrade allows you to either keep the stock coil or replace it with an after-market. I already have a MSD Blaster High Vibration coil. My last coil shorted out and it may have been from getting bumped around off-road. Most coils are oil filled. It is possible for the wires inside the coil to bump around and short out. The MSD Blaster High Vibration coil is epoxy resin filled and can handle more banging around. Also it doesn't need to be mounted upright.



8222_full.jpg

I prefer canister coils. They offer stronger, high current sparks at low rpm.


Distributor Cap
As long as your CJ was made after 1977 you have a Motorcraft Distributor. These distributors can benefit from a larger distributor cap intended for a ford.
I bought the MSD Ford V8 Cap-Adapt kit for $36. (MSD Part 8414)
If you want to save a few dollars and get an OEM distributor cap just make sure it's good quality with brass terminals. You can get a distributor cap, rotor and cap adapter for a stock 1980 Ford F150 with a V8. The cap adapter fits over the distributor but flairs out big enough for the larger cap to fit on.

duraspark-cap.jpg


If you have a strait six in your Jeep you can look up the parts for the same year Ford F150 but with a 300 strait six.
To install this Ford Distributor Cap, it just snaps on like it was meant for your Jeep. No instructions necessary. (Actually it is a Ford Motorcraft Distributor in your Jeep)
These distributor caps have different terminals so you will need new wires.

Busta, I know you did your up grade on a v-8 but my distriburor cap on my AMC 258 i6 / 4.2l has 2 screaws holding it on and doesn't snap on like the ford cap. I need an adapter cap to screaw to the distributor and then snaps on to the cap.
cristmas_2011_005.jpg
Do you have or know of the part # for the adaptor for a AMC 258 i6 / 4.2l distriburor?
cristmas_2011_009.jpg

Wires
I already had nice MSD wires for my OEM distributor but now I had to replace the wire ends at the distributor end. I bought the MSD crimp on ends. I cut the end off my wires and crimped on the new ends. The ends I got were MSD part 3330. These come with 2 in a package so I bought 5. (8 spark plug wires and one coil wire) This left me with one extra connector.
For everyone else that doesn't already have MSD wires you will need MSD part 5551 if you have a V8 or if you have a strait 6 you can get Motorcraft spark plug wires (part WR4050). These Motorcraft wires are ready to be installed.

These MSD wires (PN 5551) require you to crimp the ends on yourself. Trust me, it is very easy to do this right. The MSD wires already come with the MSD Mini-Crimper. The new style connectors use what MSD calls a Dual-Crimp. The connector has one section that crimps onto the insulation to physically hold the connector on. Then there is a smaller crimp section that only crimps onto the conductor part in the center of the wire. This part is crimped on with needle nose pliers. When I first realized I needed to use needle nose pliers I regretted not buying an expensive crimping tool. The first rule for crimping connectors is to use the right tool and never use needle nose pliers. Well, in this case needle nose pliers are the right tool. These connectors were meant to be used with needle nose.
.

crimponconnectors.jpg

On the left is the new style Dual-Crimp Connector. On the right is the old style.
The first step is to cut the wire to the correct length. I then use the MSD Mini-Crimper to strip the wire. Put the wire into the correct hole on the Mini-Crimper/stripper. There are 2 holes: one for 8 mm wires and one for 8.5 mm wires.

striper.jpg


I put the wire up to a marking for Dual-Crimp connectors. Then I use a razor blade to cut off through the insulation. This small section of insulation then twists off.

Next I crimpped the connector onto the wire. If you have the newer style Dual-Crimp connectors you will crimp in two steps. First crimp the connector to the insulation. To do this you will use a vise to do the crimping.

crimp.jpg


Pull on the connector to make sure you have a good crimp. Next use needle nose pliers to crimp the conductor.

Wireend.jpg


Once the connector is on the wire apply dielectric grease to the connector and press it into the boot.


Timing Advance Springs
This part is completely optional. These advance springs are in the distributor. They hold the advance weights. I put in lighter springs to allow the timing to advance at lower RPM. I used Mr.Gasket #925D springs following the advice on JunkYardGenius.com.
To get down to the advance springs remove the distributor cap. Next you have to remove the trigger wheel from the distributor. Some pry it off with 2 screw drivers but I found it very easy to remove with a small 2 arm puller.

Puller.jpg

Next the pickup assembly will be removed. Now you can see the advance springs.

Springs.jpg

These springs do not have to match. You can have one firm spring and one medium spring or any other combination. The springs work together to try to keep the weights from swinging outward at low rpm. When the weights are outward the timing is fully advanced.
The inside of the distributor can be cleaned with a spray can of electrical contact cleaner.


CDI Ignition Module
The stock ignition system uses the inductance of the coil to produce the high voltage spark. To get the next big jump in ignition performance you can install a CDI ignition module. CDI stands for Capacitor Discharge Ignition. MSD makes some of the best selling CDI modules. You will want to get an MSD series 6 ignition module such as the Digital 6A, 6AL or the 6 Off Road. I got the 6A (MSD part # 6201). The 6AL is similar except it also has a built in rev limiter. The 6 Off-Road is water proofed.

IgnitionModule.jpg

I mounted my MSD ignition module on the passenger front inner fender. All the wires are plenty long. In most cases too long. I shortened the wires and re-crimped ends back on. If you are not comfortable crimping the wire ends just keep them full length and tie wrap up the extra. The MSD ignition module I got included an extension for the wires to distributor.
Others that have done this modification have recommended you keep the OEM distributor connector and not cut the wires in case the MSD module fails. That sounded like a good idea to me since I do a lot of four-wheeling on remote mountain trails but you will also have to reconnect the coil back up with the OEM wires. To do this you should also keep the wiring diagram in your Jeep so you will know how to uninstall the MSD ignition.
I couldn't find an MSD wiring diagram for this application so I made one based on one of their other diagrams. The JunkYardGenius (JeepHammer) gets credit for the design.


Wiringdiagram.jpg

The heavy gauge black and the red wires need to go directly to the battery or to the end of the battery cable. For example the positive battery cable connects to the starter solenoid on the inner fender. This is where I connected the large red wire in the MSD harness.
I use dielectric grease on all connections.



Spark Plugs
With the ignition system upgraded you can now run your spark plugs with a wider gap. I used Autolite Copper Core spark plugs. It's part number 65 for my V8. If you have a strait 6 get Autolite part number 985. These are the regular spark plugs intended for the AMC engines. Champion also makes good spark plugs.
The plugs can be gapped to .045 to .050. Use the correct gapping tool. Don't use a gap measuring coin to pry open the gap.

3807-0048.jpg

When installing the spark plugs use copper anti-seize. Then when you install the spark plug wires use dielectric grease.


Next check the timing.

That's it! Now you've got better performance, gas mileage and easier starting especially in the cold. These mods don't have to be done all at once. You can do the distributor cap and spark plug wires alone.


Distributor.jpg



Credits: Once again I have to thank the JunkYardGenius (JeepHammer) for the idea.​
 
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I have completed the initial stage of this mod on my 86 CJ and it made a heck of a difference. It runs smoother, starts better, and is overall a much better driving Jeep. So far all I have done is install the larger Ford cap from a 300 six, a set of wires, and plugs. I used stock Autolite plugs gapped at .042 and I get good coverage of the center electrode by the ground stap.

Next for me is the nutter bypass and an MC 2100 carb.
Did you need and adaptor cap to get the ford cap to snap on on my distribor the cap screaws on with 2 screaws

Or is this differant from what you have set up?
And would you happen to have a part # for the cap adaptor? Thanks for help. Sorry for the double post I didn't see this one about the AMC 258 i6 / 4.2l till after I posted the one above!
 
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Yes 1986cj7 you are correct. The strait 6 has the cap held on by screws. But you can still get a cap for a 1980 Ford Strait 6. Look up a Ford F150 with a 300 CI engine. You will find it is also held on with screws.
Here is the distributor cap adapter I found on RockAuto.com
getimage.php

STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # FD155
 
Yes 1986cj7 you are correct. The strait 6 has the cap held on by screws. But you can still get a cap for a 1980 Ford Strait 6. Look up a Ford F150 with a 300 CI engine. You will find it is also held on with screws.
Here is the distributor cap adapter I found on RockAuto.com
getimage.php

STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # FD155
Thanks I asks for a 1980 300 and didn't specified f150 sorry for the confusion.:eek: Hopefully I'll get all the parts and get to try it out this weekend.:)
 
If you go to NAPA for a strait 6 get the following:
Distributor cap - Part Number: ECH FA136
NAPA AUTO PARTS
Cap adapter - Part Number: MPE FA139SB
NAPA AUTO PARTS
Rotor - Part Number: ECH FA159
NAPA AUTO PARTS
There are several choises for wires from MSD to OEM. Here is one choice from NAPA - Part Number: BEL 700230
NAPA AUTO PARTS
 
Thanks bustadave for going above and beond to help with this mod:notworthy: With part #'s in hand how can you go wrong!!!:chug::cool: I've already ordered the motorcraft wires sujested in the first post, So THANKS ALOT!!!!!!!
 
Well even with the part #s in hand one napa store told my wife they couldn't order the part and that part #s on the Internet are different then theirs, what the :censored: and the only one they had was the same part # but had a Sm at the end and it was the cheap aluminum terminals. So need less to say I went to a different town and napa store and guess what they had that part # in stock an I finally have all my parts, just waiting for my boys to get home from school to put the parts back on. BustaDave I'd hate to bother you again but where did you get the msd cdi ignition module and what kind of price am I looking at.:chug: The resign filled coil and module are next when I get the cash.:cool:
 
I found that Autolite 646 plugs come with a .059" gap but are otherwise similar to the Autolite 65 plugs that normally install in the AMC 304 . I plan on getting a set of those for my V8 but I plan on decreasing the gap before installing them.

Hey Dave,

Did you happen to get these and use them?

I've found a few links for them, not mentioning much on gap size though... except on that stated "Large Gap version"

so...

1- Have you tried them yet?
2- Did you have trouble with 2 different versions (a large gap / small gap)?

Here's the link on Summit, who by the way does not show they'll fit, but I expect that is for different reasons, not "fitting" reasons.

Autolite 646 - Autolite Copper Core Spark Plugs - Overview - SummitRacing.com

Because according to this and your info above, they're exactly similar in almost every other way.

spark_plug_65_vs_646.bmp


Thank Dave :chug:

~ JR
 
Yes, JR the only difference between the Autolite 645 and 65 is the gap and the hear range. The 645 has a 0.059" gap and the 65 (OEM) has a .035" gap. The heat range is also slightly differently.

I have never switched to the 645 because my plugs are almost new. I plan on replacing the plugs early summer.
I am now running Autolite 65 gapped at .044"
They are working good but I would prefer to go to Autolite 645
 
Yes, JR the only difference between the Autolite 645 and 65 is the gap and the hear range. The 645 has a 0.059" gap and the 65 (OEM) has a .035" gap. The heat range is also slightly differently.

I have never switched to the 645 because my plugs are almost new. I plan on replacing the plugs early summer.
I am now running Autolite 65 gapped at .044"
They are working good but I would prefer to go to Autolite 645
Bustadave I've got the cap and plugs wires done on this mod and was wondering if I had to wait until I replaced the ignition module before I start to try and open the gap a little. Still saving for the ignition module and coil.:)
 
Bustadave I've got the cap and plugs wires done on this mod and was wondering if I had to wait until I replaced the ignition module before I start to try and open the gap a little. Still saving for the ignition module and coil.:)

With a bigger cap and wires you can gap your plugs at 0.45" to 0.50"
When you install the MDS ignition module you can gap your plugs at 0.50" to 0.60"
OEM was 0.35"
 
I have some useful information for anyone doing this upgrade.

First I'd like to thank BusaDave9 for helping me over the last couple of days in diagnosing an electrical issue I've been tackling regarding this upgrade.

For a complete read of my problem, look here:

http://www.jeep-cj.com/forums/f2/ignition-system-electrical-issue-12289/

The net result of my MSD ignition installation was this:
I couldnt shut OFF my engine.

The net fix was to install a diode, radio shack part number 275-1143 on the small "excite" wire on the back of the alternator. I have attached pics of the diode used. The band on the diode must be installed TOWARD the alternator.

Apparently, I had alternator current "backflowing" through that wire to the ignition switch. When I turned off the key, there was still 12 volts, actually 14 volts of alternator current in the igniton key "on" wire.

I can only assume there must be a built in "restriction" or diode in the brain unit that went away when I got rid of the factory brain unit to install the MSD igntion module.

So, after replacing the starter solenoid and alternator with a spare from my parts shelf, I got hold of JeepHammer. Yes, JeepHammer. The advocate of this MSD ignition upgrade.... "Mr. TeamRush"

Before I fully described my problem, he knew what the solution was.
So, hats off to JeepHammer. I owe him a handshake, a beer, and a thankyou.

To any of you doing this upgrade, be sure you include the diode in your parts box before you start. I have been told that MSD includes this in the purchase of their module, but I bought mine used and never had one. NOT to say you WILL NEED IT, but if you have a similar issue, this post might save you time and headaches... (and a broken electrical meter/tester that somehow flew across my garage and hit the wall)

Thankyou Dave for the continued interest in helping with the diagnosis and guidance along the way.

Thankyou JeepHammer for the easiest cure of the day!

brian
 
Dave, my first thought after finishing the upgrade was: WOW, it sure starts fast!!!

It used to take about 3 or 4 long seconds to get it to fire (at best), but now I just have to bump the key and BAM ..... she's running!!!

I have other issues to tackle now, but I can see the immediate difference just in the first few seconds..!!
 
Busa, I had a similar setup on my 83 Scrambler, but you might consider one more addition since you live in Durango.

MSD Adjustable Timing Control

Adjustable Timing Control - 8680

I also live in Colorado, lived down on the flat, but spent a LOT of time above 7500 FT Elevation. This control allowed me 15 degrees adjustment in the timing from the drivers seat. Set your usual timing with the knob in the middle and you have a spread of 7 1/2 degrees adv or retard. This resulted in radically better driveability at all the elevations I ran at. Eliminated any sort of pre-ignition, etc.
 
For those doing the bypass on a 2.5L I just read an article on the Cherokee forum that deals with the Carter YFA modification to make it work with the upgrade. I didn't know if this had been posted here or not, forgive me if it has. Andre. Link:
The 2.5 YFA XJ Nutter Bypass (plus) - Jeep Cherokee Forum
 
i would love to do this to my jeep, except i cant afford the msd 6. if i go with the streetfire will it wire up the same as in the diagram and would i need the same extra harness?
 

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